Digital Marketing Trends 2016

November 09, 2016 Ruth Lewin Chen

2016 Continues to reflect the enormous role of Big Data in digital marketing. Wisely used, Big Data can tell us almost everything about our consumers – who they are, what their interests are, what they are interested in buying / doing / drinking etc., where they are and who they are with.

Furthermore, despite consumers' need in protecting their privacy, they are willing to give away details that will help companies personalize better to their personal benefit (for example through personalized discounts, personalized offers etc.).

In order to succeed doing so, companies need to use Big Data by first recognizing the questions they would like to answer; then, gathering the information; and finally, analyzing it.

In 2016, more than ever, simultaneously is the key word – 79% of consumers (and 90% of Millennials) switch devices during a single online activity, according to Get Personal report by Adobe; The usage of applications and social media for messaging continues to grow, creating "data exclusives" who rarely use their mobile for voice calls; and applications of familiar technologies are expanding to new areas (such as location-based technologies which in addition to marketing are also used for business operations, customer services and more).

Presence in different channels requires synchronization. These days, many users are frustrated due to the lack of synchronization, and companies will have to take into consideration consumers switching between devices and design a constant and continuous experience. Nestle demonstrates how marketing communications can be adjusted to mobile in order to see better results.

It seems that many companies realize the importance of being present in different channels and they plan on running cross-channels campaigns (96% of enterprises; 90% of midmarket companies; and 64% of small-market companies). 62% of the companies will integrate websites in their campaign; 60% will integrate social media; and more than half of the companies plan to integrate emails and mobile applications.

Virtual reality, augmented reality and location-based technologies continue to develop and expand their presence in the digital and physical space. In fact these technologies integrate these spaces, leading to a presence in the digital world when the consumer is on the street (such as Pokemon Go), in store (through beacons, retailers' apps, NFC, GPS and Wi-Fi) or at home (through Internet of Things operated household appliances). An efficient use of these technologies can create a unique experience for consumers in order to improve brand image. Here, as well as in relation to Big Data, it is important to define the goal of using these technologies and the audience targeted.

In order to understand where we are heading, one should learn from Millennials, who are often first in adopting technologies and trends before they expand to other demographics. An example is Snapchat application used to send photos and videos. Today Millennials make up the largest share of Snapchat’s US user base, representing 70% of Snapchat’s monthly active users in 2016, according to eMarketer’s estimates. Millennials will remain in the majority going forward, but their share of the total Snapchat audience will shrink as they are predicted to make up 56% of all US Snapchat users by the end of 2020.

For conclusion, in 2017 we expect to see more personalization, real-time and immediacy, channels integration and lots of video. New applications of familiar technologies will lead to hyper-personalization, more than ever.

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